Mumbai: Dogs are under the attack of canine distemper virus (CDV), a highly contagious and often fatal disease, said the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals, Parel, while underlining that more than 100 stray or adopted dogs contracted CDV since December 2022. Veterinary doctors attributed the rise in the disease – which attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of canines – to increased public awareness and lack of vaccination.
According to the hospital authority, around 30-40 dogs suffering from canine distemper are being admitted to hospital. 50% of them have survival chances and even the recovered ones develop deformities as they become weak and are unable to perform daily activities.
CDV cases high this year
Senior doctor from the hospital said every year they get CDV cases but this year numbers have increased. The ailment spreads through direct contact or airborne exposure. When an infected dog coughs or sneezes, aerosol droplets are released into the environment hence infecting nearby dogs. “CDV can't be transmitted from dogs to humans or any other animals like cats or birds. Most of the cases are seen in stray dogs which are adopted. While a few dogs recovered and went back, the veterinarian says that their bodies become weak as it affects multiple organs,” the medico said.
Doctor further added the stray dogs are not fully vaccinated due to which infection rate among them is high. Most of the time foster parents are clueless about the vaccination given. However, the vaccine needs to be given every year but it is not possible to keep a track of vaccination given to stray dogs.
“The first dose is given when the puppy is 45 days old and the second dose follows 21 days later. To protect canines, it is necessary to administer the vaccine to them while they are puppies and then continue to do the same every year,” he explained.
The virus, which thrives when weather changes, mostly attacks the intestinal tracts and stomach of dogs, especially exotic breeds. It is also transmitted through dog's blood in stool or water contaminated by CDV.
What is Canine distemper virus?
A highly contagious and often fatal disease, it spreads through direct contact or airborne exposure. When an infected dog coughs or sneezes, aerosol droplets are released into the environment hence infecting nearby dogs. The ailment attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of canines. Survival chances are grim and the recovered ones develop deformities as they become weak.
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